Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2004 (Revised October 2006)

Electronic Arts in Online Gaming

by Thomas R. Eisenmann and Justin Wong

Abstract

Electronic Arts (EA), the world's largest independent video-game publisher, must decide whether to support Microsoft's initiatives in online gaming. Historically, EA has been platform-agnostic, releasing versions of its titles for all major console platforms. However, its managers have serious concerns about Microsoft's strategy for its online gaming service, Xbox Live. Microsoft has maintained tight control over game features and customer relationships and has refused to share online gaming subscription revenues with game publishers. Sony has offered terms for Playstation2 online games that are acceptable to EA. Can EA afford to forfeit sales through Microsoft's platform?

Keywords: Corporate Strategy; Technology Platform; Network Effects; Policy; Customer Focus and Relationships; Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Revenue; Segmentation; Sales; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Electronics Industry;

Citation:

Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Justin Wong. "Electronic Arts in Online Gaming." Harvard Business School Case 804-140, January 2004. (Revised October 2006.)